Monday, May 11, 2015

I don’t mean to be short… Wait! Yes, I do.

I recently wrote a short story for an anthology. The guidelines were 1000 to 6000 words.
It was hard.
I went way over the maximum word count then trimmed and trimmed until I had 6,125 words. I sent it to my CPs and asked them to point out things I could cut.
Imagine me doing the tomahawk chop to whittle this baby down.
Whew! I’m sweating it out.
Have you ever intentionally written a romantic short story? Did you find it hard to get your HEA?


Aidee Ladnier said...

I love to write short stories! But in a lot of ways it's an art unto itself. You have to be so careful that each word works as hard as it can because padding is not an indulgence to be tolerated in a short story.

I'm currently struggling with a 300 word story for a flash fiction contest. Talk about short!

You'll be able to trim, Meda. Your stories are awesome!

Meda White said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Aidee. Get rid of the padding. 😃 300 words! Whoa. You can do it though. You're the queen of shorts. Rock 'em.

Ali Hubbard said...

I love reading shorts! That's definitely on my "one day" list. lol.

I think there'd be a great market for them too because people are so busy. I remember loving Reader's Digest because the stories were short. I've often wondered about a Romance Digest version where there are shorts and maybe covers and some jokes. Different genres. Maybe someone who has only read paranormal would find out they love contemporary or vice versa. Maybe someone who "doesn't like to read" would see it as ok.

A funny side note: I was listening to a morning show that had a book of short stories out. It was geared toward men and they were marketing it as "toilet reads." I thought that was HILARIOUS.

Your story is going to rock. No doubt!

Louisa Cornell said...

I had to work really hard to keep my Christmas novella to 25K. I tend to be long-winded when I write. I truly admire anyone who can write short and make the story complete!

Meda White said...

~Ali, I love the Romance Digest idea. It could also be "toilet reads", not because of how dirty it is (LOL), but for that ten minute smoke/toilet/coffee break or whenever you can sneak in a few pages. Thank you for the encouragement.
~Louisa, I can't wait to read your novella. It's on my list. Just after I finished my short story, I saw a chapter hosting a class on this very subject. As Hubba-luv would say, "PPT" (piss poor timing). :D

Carla Swafford said...

I'm not sure how good I'm at that. Maybe by having the characters already knowing each other. :-)

Of course, the shortest I've written is roughly 10,000 words. So maybe I'm not much of one to help.